We’ve all heard of the Cradle of Mankind. A World Heritage Site situated 50 km’s northwest of Jozi, that boasts the discovery of the first ape-human fossils. The place where we supposedly started using our thumbs, standing upright and using fire to make a braai. Cape Town holds a place of similar significance, the Cradle of Coffee-kind – the site of origin of real coffee in Cape Town.
Situated in the city’s trendy De Waterkant area, is Origin. A meeting place that many would describe to be as familiar as their backyard. Best described as a one-stop-coffee-shop because in addition to an amazing coffee spot or ‘tasting room’ as they call it, they also have an artisan roastery, a professional barista training school, a coffee lab and a second café space spilling over onto a courtyard. The space has an outright urban feel. A long counter sits on the left with an array of coffee to choose from. To the right are a number of tables decorated with people. The atmosphere is relaxed and one can’t help but feel at home here, as was demonstrated by the gentleman who had his blue prints strewn across the length of the large, long table as if it were his own.
Ask anyone and they will tell you that Origin and coffee are two words that go together better than curry and rice. There are those however, bless their souls, that have yet to see the light. Let me clear one thing up, if you’re thinking of using the excuse that you only drink tea, well, think again. They have a room dedicated to all that is tea with over 120 varieties from all over the world. Not only is the tea presented in glass pots for your aesthetic pleasure but the room is also enclosed in glass. This creates a calm, zen-like space, which perhaps doubles as a safety precaution, to prevent the coffee drinkers from throwing their spoons in opposition.
I was interested to get the nitty gritty behind the creation of this incredible spot and managed to spent some time with owner, Joel Singer, who at the time had three other people eager to see him. I have met few people that are so passionate about what they do and furthermore, doing things properly. He has an unsurpassable energy and a deep appreciation for quality, which is evident in the manner in which he speaks about coffee, food and wine. His motivation for creating Origin stemmed from the realisation and frustration of a lack of quality coffee.
“I hate when things are wrong, coffee is an exceptional product but no one was doing it properly. Why should your first and last experience of the day be dismal? ”
Joel goes on to tell me about ‘Relationship coffee’ which isn’t an occurrence of boy meets girl in coffee shop, but rather the connection and manner in which they interact with the farmers that supply their beans. And although you will find a selection of coffee from all over the world at Origin, the emphasis is placed on African beans. And he is fervent about it! I didn’t even consider debating this subject, as you need only taste the Rwandan Musasa to be convinced.
There is a vast selection of coffee available appealing to various palates, a good reason to come back next week to try out a different blend. Whether it’s the Tanzania Blackburn or the Guatemala Finca Santa Clara you go for, you won’t be disappointed.